8 Ways Stress Could Make Your Teeth Fall Out (At Least Eventually)

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A study this year in the Journal of Periodontology affirmed that stress and depression can wreak havoc in your mouth. Here Toronto dental hygienist Rosalie Shapiro shares her knowledge on this phenomenon and gives us a list of do’s (floss!) and do not’s (neglect your dentist) to live by.

“I have never seen anybody’s teeth fall out from stress, but stress certainly contributes to periodontal disease which is one of the largest factors of tooth loss,” Shapiro says.

1. Major life traumas: “I’ve had a couple of experiences where there’s suddenly such a tragic change in the condition of a patient’s mouth in a three month period that it’s clear something has gone on to cause that huge change,” Shapiro says.

2. Hormone levels: Stress affects the hormone levels which plays a huge part in women’s health. The stress-induced hormone cortisol can have an adverse effect on dental health.

3. Canker sores: You can’t catch them despite what many think. These little nasties come about in some people’s mouths as a sort of warning sign that your body’s defenses are compromised. Heightened stress weakens the immune system, allowing cankers to take hold.

4. Plaque, Gingivitis and Sensitivity: When people are stressed, not coping and avoiding situations, studies have shown an increase in cortisol levels, a hormone caused by stress. This hormone along with a suppressed immune system creates increased plaque and bacteria. This wreaks havoc on your teeth and gums causing gingivitis (swollen bleeding gums). When gums are unhealthy, they can recede. Exposed roots make teeth much more sensitive to temperature. If left untreated, this messy mouth situation can lead to periodontal disease which ultimately could make your teeth fall out. The result: stress destroys smiles!

5. Grinding of teeth due to tension: It makes your teeth uneven because you grind down the grooves on them.And it puts stress on all the ligaments and support structures that hold your teeth in place.

6. Diet: People often don’t eat as well when under stress. There’s nothing quite like cookie dough ice cream covered in gummy worms to make you feel better.Your teeth don’t like this.

7. Neglecting your teeth: When under pressure, flossing is likely to be the last thing on your mind. Big mistake.

8. Neglecting the dentist: When your life is frantic and stressful, you might be tempted to put off visiting the dentist. But as the previous nine points demonstrate, this is an especially vital time to get your teeth cared for.

Of course, you don’t want to worry about this too much because that will only stress you further and now we all know what happens then…

Author by Margo Varadi

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